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Android 4.0 ported to Raspberry Pi, supports HD video but not audio

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Android 4.0 on Raspberry Pi
Android 4.0 on Raspberry Pi

A working version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich has been ported to the credit card-sized Raspberry Pi computer, allowing the $25 device to perform many of the functions of a modern smartphone or tablet, albeit at a somewhat slower pace. According to a post on the project's official blog, the build supports hardware-accelerated video and graphics, but is not yet able to play sound due to problems with porting Android's AudioFlinger system.

As Eurogamer points out, it's not the first attempt to get Android up and running on the device — the Raspberry Pi community has been working on ports of CyanogenMod 7.2 (based on Android 2.3) and CyanogenMod 9 (based on Android 4.0) for some time. Still, it's the first time the mobile operating system has been anywhere close to usable for everyday tasks, providing a real alternative to the various stripped-down Linux distributions currently available for the Pi platform.

Developer Naren Sankar has provided a video of some of the basic functions of Android 4.0 on the Raspberry Pi, including swiping through the app drawer and playing video from YouTube. The limitations of the device's hardware — a 700MHz single-core processor and 256MB of RAM — are very apparent, but it's still an impressive effort.